The UK has had an early freeze this year, with the biting cold weather known to supress the immune system, viruses and infections are going around really quickly and affecting those vulnerable. We don’t like to have sick children at home, we want happy and healthy children enjoying the winter season. How do we support our child’s immune system?
Food is really important to think about, homemade food guarantees that you know what’s in there! Making sure the children have a well-balanced diet meaning some protein, complex carbohydrates, plenty vegetables, and some fruit. Soups are a good way to get the vegetables in, include chicken bones, greens, and sneak in some garlic at the end. Adding fruits as their sugars or sweetener is really good. Be aware of sugar affecting immune cells, as their chemical structure is similar to Vitamin C and compete with cells containing Vitamin C which is needed to destroy viruses and bacteria. Fruits, especially berries and papaya are high in immune boosting nutrients, and being sweet they can be added to oats and some protein powder in the morning.
A healthy gut is crucial to supporting the immune system; optimum levels of gut flora are necessary not only for the digestive system to function well and nutrient absorption, but also for the body’s ability to fight off infection. So plain live yogurts topped with sweet fruits like papaya and mango or homemade granola crunch (see our healthy recipes section) are great options.
Relaxation – yes children need that too - and creativity are really important to keeping the child’s immune system strong. So a relaxed environment with creative playtime, calm music, and story time is necessary to keep their bodies in a relaxed state allowing it to do what it needs to keep them healthy and strong.
Sleep is when their bodies recharge, heal, and regain strength, they needs lots of it, toddlers around 11 – 14 hours a day including nap time, 3-5 years 10-13 hours and 6-13 years 9-11 hours a night. Preparing for bed by dimming the lights, having a warm bubble bath, maybe some warm milk, and no electronic devices are great ways to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
These will support you in your aim to give your children only the best. If you need any further advice please don’t hesitate to contact me.